For the month of May, The Kitchen Readers read Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table, by Ruth Reichl. She is the well known restaurant critic for The New York Times, and in her book she shares the experiences growing up that she feels led to her great appreciation of food.
With her mother suffering from bouts of manic-depression, Reichl must intervene in her cooking “experiments” to keep her from making guests sick. When her parents are often absent, she finds herself cooking for others to make friends and keep from being lonely.
When she is then surprised by her mother enrolling her in a French school far from home, Reichl makes friends with a schoolmate who’s father introduces her to the joys of fine food. She spends much of her young adulthood traveling abroad experiencing the foods of the regions, and then joins a co-op restaurant as part owner where she learns about the restaurant business and acquires her first stalker.
It seems that Ruth Reichl naturally moved through her life on a path paved by food, as if it was destiny that she would eventually find herself surrounded by people like James Beard and Marion Cunningham. Tender at the Bone is filled with humorous, self-effacing stories that make this book fun and easy to read. And if all the recipes included are as tasty as these rich, fudgy brownies, that’s an even greater bonus. I strongly recommend serving them with a scoop of ice cream.
Thanks to the sweet and talented Jill of Jill’s Blog for this month’s book selection.
from Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl
makes 12 brownies
- 2/3 cup butter
- 5 ounces unsweetened, best-quality French chocolate
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup sifted flour
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Butter and flour a 9-inch square baking pan.
- Melt butter and chocolate in double boiler, over boiling water. When melted, add vanilla and set aside.
- Beat eggs and salt in mixer. Add sugar and beat at high speed for about 10 minutes, or until the mixture is quite white.
- Add chocolate and butter mixture and beat at low speed, just until mixed. Add flour and combine quickly, until there are no white streaks.
- Pour batter into baking pan and put in oven. Immediately turn oven down to 350 degrees and bake for 40 minutes. (The normal toothpick test will not work on these brownies, but if you want to try pricking them with a toothpick, it should come out not quite clean.) Do not overbake; these brownies should be fudgy.